Rabobank improves sustainability score
Rabobank substantially improved its score in the sustainability rankings of RobecoSAM and Sustainalytics in 2015. In the global ranking list of RobecoSAM, Rabobank rose from 12th to 5th in the banks category with a score of 87 out of 100. In the Sustainalytics sustainability ranking, Rabobank jumped from 62nd place to 10th out of 416 financial institutions worldwide. With a score of 80 out of 100, Sustainalytics qualifies the cooperative bank as an ‘Industry Leader’. These much better scores show that Rabobank is successfully putting the ambitions of its ‘Sustainably Successful Together’ sustainability strategy into practice.
‘Our new and more targeted sustainability policy is bearing fruit. Our positions in these international rankings of sustainable companies are recognition of the course that Rabobank has taken. Above all, it encourages us to make further progress. By engaging in an active dialogue with our customers, we can encourage them to invest more sustainably. If you make your home or business more sustainable, you will usually be better off financially. What’s more, it makes a visible and tangible contribution to a more sustainable society,’ says Bas Rüter, Director of Sustainability at Rabobank.
Customer photo goes global
The higher score is partly due to the further integration of the sustainability policy in the lending of the cooperative bank. Rabobank has been making what is known as customer photos for sustainability for larger businesses since 2015 in order to identify whether a business is among the leaders or an average or below-average performer in this area on the basis of objective criteria, independent sustainability features and sector-relevant themes. The bank initiates a dialogue with customers that do not meet its sustainability criteria to establish an action plan so that these customers can comply as quickly as possible. Rabobank is increasingly using these customer photos as a basis for a dialogue with business customers regarding sustainability themes that are relevant to them and potential ways in which they can do business more sustainably. ‘This year, we started using the customer photo for our mid corporate customers that do business internationally. We will also start a self-test for businesses in the SME sector in the Netherlands this year that will give them insight into their sustainability performance and their potential for improvement,’ explains Rüter.
Rabobank continues to set a leading example when it comes to climate-neutral business operation. The bank has been 100% climate-neutral since 2007, with CO2 emissions per full-time employee falling by 35% since 2008. New steps are still being taken every year to further reduce the CO2 emissions to be compensated. Suppliers to Rabobank are for example required to report their sustainability performance as part of the bank’s supplier evaluation and selection.
In addition to recognition of the integration of sustainability policy and climate-neutral business operation, the rise in the ranking is also due to transparent reporting, improvements to the Responsible Investment Programme and the bank’s active commitment to diversity.
Sustainalytics is an international leader in sustainability research. Investors use the Sustainalytics studies as a basis for including social, environmental and governance factors in their investments.
RobecoSAM evaluates and qualifies the sustainability performance of listed and unlisted companies, including Rabobank, on an annual basis. This assessment is a leading measure of sustainability performance for companies worldwide.